William Clark Timeline
Timeline Description: Half of the legendary survey team, William Clark was an explorer, soldier, territory governor, and Indian agent. He was a father, husband, slave owner, and political man who received many honors for his role in the construction of America.

Date Event
August 1, 1770 William Clark was born

The ninth of ten siblings, Clark was born to parents of English and Scottish ancestry. He was born in Caroline County, Virginia to a family of planters who retained modest estates and several slaves.
March, 1785 The Clark family relocated

After Clark's older brothers were done fighting in the Revolutionary War, Clark, along with his three sisters, parents, and family slaves, moved to Mulberry Hill. The plantation near Louisville, Kentucky was Clark's home until 1803.
1789 Nineteen year old Clark joined the Northwest Indian War

Clark began to keep a journal of his mission, which soon became a lifelong practice. During his service in the war, Clark was chosen as the captain of the Indiana militia, sent on a mission to talk with the Creek and Cherokee, and served as an acting lieutenant and ensign.
1794 The Battle of Fallen Timbers

William Clark commanded riflemen in this historic battle that brought the Northwest Indian War to an end. The US victory led to Clark being asked to lead a mission to Missouri to settle arguments with some of the natives.
July 4, 1796 Clark resigned

Clark resigned from his military position at age 26, due to his waning health. He went back to his family's plantation.
1803 Meriwether Lewis recruited William Clark

At age thirty three, Clark was asked by Lewis to share command of the Corps of Discovery. The two led a mission to explore the Louisiana Purchase territory. The expedition lasted three years and Clark was well known for treating the natives and slaves with respect on the expedition.
1807 Clark became the general of the Louisiana Territory militia and the US agent for Indian affairs.

Clark was chosen by President Jefferson. It was his assignment to create trading posts in territory that was settled by Native Americans. Clark created his headquarters in St. Louis.
January 5, 1808 Clark was married

William Clark married Julia Hancock. They went on to have five children over the next ten years.
September 18, 1809 Clark became a member of the Freemasons

While there was no public record of his initiation, Clark was issued a certificate by Saint Louis Lodge, No. 111.
1809 The death of Lewis

Clark was often supported in his political conquest by his friend Meriwether Lewis. Upon his death, Clark began drinking, grew lonely, had family problems, and acquired a lot of debt.
1813 Clark was appointed Missouri territorial governor/ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs

President James Madison offered both Clark and Lewis positions because of their exceptional work on the expedition. Clark served as the longest serving ambassador to Native American people.
1814 Clark led a War of 1812 expedition

Fort Shelby, the first post in Wisconsin, was established by the expedition of 1814. During this time, he was also appointed by President Madison to the Missouri territory governor.
1820 Clark's wife passed away

After the death of Julia, Clark remarried. He married Julia's cousin and they had three children together.
1822 Congress created a new position for Clark

President Monroe appointed Clark to be the Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He was known as the most significant man on Native American issues west of the Mississippi.
September 1, 1838 Clark died

William Clark died at the age of 68. He was buried in the Bellefontaine cemetery. A thirty five foot marker was erected in his honor.William Clark was known for being a compassionate man, especially in his interactions with the Native Americans. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of a Captain by President Clinton.